How can it be managed?
In addition to medication and other therapies, there are many things you can do today to help you manage ADHD symptoms.
Nutrition & Physical Activity
There’s no proven link between ADHD and diet, but an unhealthy diet can influence attention and functioning. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for specific guidance on healthy food choices. Canada’s Food Guide is also a good source of information for advice on healthy eating.
More than just food
Remember healthy eating is about more than just the foods you eat. It’s also about where, when, why, and how you eat. The predictability and structure of planning meals, creating and following grocery lists, and having consistent meal times can help people with ADHD who often struggle with balance in their lives.
Regular physical activity can help:
- decrease stress and frustration
- improve focus
- increase endorphins (the “feel-good” chemicals in your body)
- improve mood
- restore a sense of well-being
Quick tips to keep you moving!
Do things you enjoy. Try a variety of different activities until you find ones you like. If you enjoy doing something, you’re more likely to stick with it!
Make it a habit. Commit to being active first thing in the morning before other distractions set in. Or make it part of your routine to stop at the gym on the way home from work. Bring a friend to help keep you motivated, and to help keep it fun!
Unplug. Limit the time you spend on your devices. Living in a virtual world gets in the way of achieving goals in the real world.
Sleep problems are common in people with ADHD and may be a result of the condition itself. They are also a side effect of some ADHD medications. Lack of sleep can make it hard to pay attention and regulate emotions and behaviour. It can also interfere with memory and performance at school or work.
Tips for getting a good night’s sleep
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep in the evening.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a bath and reading a book.
- This will help train your brain to go to bed at a certain hour.
- Avoid long naps, particularly late in the day, as these can interfere with nighttime sleep.
- Avoid using electronic devices before bed and keep them out of the bedroom.
- Make sure you are physically active during the day, preferably outside.
Tips for helping your child
get a good night’s sleep
Sleep issues are common in children with ADHD.
However, a few simple strategies may help.
Consistent bedtime routine, including bedtime and wake-up time.
Unplug before bed. This includes phones, laptops, iPads and gaming systems.
Breathe. Practice deep breathing techniques and visual imagery exercises. Click here for examples.
Sleep environment. Make sure it’s quiet, comfortable and dark.